Skip to main content

Hunger

Audio Preview

audio
Hunger


Published January 31, 2011


LibriVox recording of Hunger, by Knut Hamsun.
Read by Greg W.

Hunger (Norwegian: Sult) is a novel by the Norwegian author and Nobel Prize winner Knut Hamsun and was published in its final form in 1890. The novel has been hailed as the literary opening of the 20th century and an outstanding example of modern, psychology-driven literature. It hails the irrationality of the human mind in an intriguing and sometimes humorous novel. Written after Hamsun's return from an ill-fated tour of America, Hunger is loosely based on the author's own impoverished life before his breakthrough in 1890. Set in late 19th century Kristiania, the novel recounts the adventures of a starving young man whose sense of reality is giving way to a delusionary existence on the darker side of a modern metropolis. While he vainly tries to maintain an outer shell of respectability, his mental and physical decay are recounted in detail. His ordeal, enhanced by his inability or unwillingness to pursue a professional career, which he deems unfit for someone of his abilities, is pictured in a series of encounters which Hamsun himself described as 'a series of analyses.' In many ways, the protagonist of the novel displays traits reminiscent of Raskolnikov, whose creator, Fyodor Dostoevsky, was one of Hamsun's main influences. The influence of naturalist authors such as Emile Zola is apparent in the novel, as is his rejection of the realist tradition.(Introduction by Wikipedia)

For further information, including links to online text, reader information, RSS feeds, CD cover or other formats or languages (if available), please go to the LibriVox catalog page for this recording.

For more free audio books or to become a volunteer reader, visit LibriVox.org.

Download M4B (187MB)


Source Librivox recording of a public-domain text
Run time 6:46.52

comment
Reviews

Reviewer: stbalbach - - April 10, 2011
Subject: Hunger

Hunger (1890) by Knut Hamsun "might very well be seen as the first European Modernist novel" (Robin Young, 2002). It's considered by critics to be his most enduring and important work. There is no plot to speak of, the main character doesn't have a name, the narrative is discontinuous, it's stream of conscious, highly subjective internal point of view from someone who is physically degenerating from hunger while trying to make a living as a writer. One could say he mentally degenerates as well, but it's clear from the opening chapter he is already mentally unstable for reasons never understood or explained, though more clear once the novel is seen as autobiographical (Hamsun was nuts). All of these things divorce it from the traditional 19th century novel, and it's remarkable how cutting edge it still reads given its antique age. I'm not sure I "enjoyed" it, but I was curious about its reputation and style. Parts are good, parts are bad, but it's innovative and unique for its time, a snapshot into the gradual change to modernism.

I listened to the LibriVox recording by Greg W. which is very good, based on the trans. by "George Egerton" (1899, pseudonym of Mary Chavelita Dunne) which is acceptable though very old, according to Wikipedia the 1996 trans. by Sverre Lyngstad is currently considered the definitive.

[STB|042011|782]
DOWNLOAD OPTIONS
Uploaded by
librivoxbooks
on 1/31/2011
Views
21,586
Favorites
4
Reviews
1
SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata)
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Anton Chekhov
audio
eye 13,434
favorite 4
comment 1
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by George Eliot
audio
eye 48,698
favorite 3
comment 1
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
audio
eye 14,728
favorite 2
comment 1
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Mary Roberts Rinehart
audio
eye 18,094
favorite 5
comment 2
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by William Godwin
audio
eye 15,380
favorite 1
comment 1
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
audio
eye 7,798
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
audio
eye 117,446
favorite 16
comment 2
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
audio
eye 7,054
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Leo Tolstoy
audio
eye 14,399
favorite 2
comment 0
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Jules Verne
audio
eye 38,309
favorite 2
comment 0
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text